Saturday, September 29, 2012

Share A Memory

Seeing a picture can jog your memory. This picture taken by the Temple swimming pool in Puente, California during the 1920's really brought back memories. The Temple Mansion was turned into a nursing home in the 1940's. My Grandfather Forgey worked there after WWII. My Grandmother Forgey was a resident of the modern nursing home built next to the Mansion in the 1960's. I used to walk the grounds of the nursing home with my father while my mother spent time with my grandmother. When I saw the picture above posted in my news feed at Facebook it really jolted me. I had never seen a picture of the pool from that era. I remember when I first noticed the old pool on one of my walks with my father. I was about 5 yrs. old and was fascinated by it. I couldn't believe it was a pool. I never saw one like it before. I've had dreams about swimming in that pool. Every time we visited my grandmother I had to look at the pool. My father said my Uncles swam in it. Don't know if that's true? (I also enjoyed looking at the old cemetery, also located on the grounds; which probably helped spark my interest in genealogy and love of cemeteries.)
I believe the Puente Hills can be seen in the background. I grew up at the base of those hills. I feel lucky that I was able to see the pool and other landmarks in the area before they were demolished. The pace of change in Southern California really sped up during my childhood in the 1960's and 1970's. You could still find unspoiled open spaces and farms near where I lived in the late 1960's early 1970's. We had terrible smog back then too. The smog situation is better now, but I do miss some of the old landmarks and the farms which were still around back then.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Sources so far on Owens

I've been busy getting up to speed on the Owens line this week. I've found some of the original material sited by other researchers. I still have more to find. I have not found any of the deeds I need online. The orphans court records are not online either. Another important document I need is the power of attorney which Thomas Broshears gave to James Owens regarding Hannah and John Owens estate.

Sources for James D. Owens and Francis

1843 Taxlist Bracken County

  1. William is the son of James Owens comes from a taxlist which reads "William of James".
  2. William appears next to Francis his mother on taxlists.
  3. William is bondsman on Hannah's marriage bond. Hannah is found in on the Census in Francis's household.
  4. James and Francis children include Hannah, John, and David V. Owens. These names appear in the John and Susannah Owens family of  PA and VA.
  5. A Broshears purchases an item from the James D. Owens estate.
  6. Hannah states her father was born in Pa on the 1880.
  7. David and Brother John settled in Clarksville Indiana
  8. Several of the Children of John and Susannah settle in Bracken County Ky. John and David seem to have settled not far away in the Clarksville area of Indiana. They were there in 1783.

Sources John Owens Jr. and Susannah 

  1. The proof that Susannah was John's wife comes from his 1781 Washington County, PA Will.
  2. The names of his children are said to come from Orphans court records. David and John are the only two mentioned by name on will. Otherwise it just states brothers and sisters of John and David.
  3. Their place of residence is Monongahela Ten mile Creek Virginia according to the will.
  4. John's aged mother is mentioned on the will but her name is not given 
  5. A number of contemporary accounts give the cause of his death as the  result of an indian attack 
  6. John's brother David was said to be the son of an Indian trader according to several contemporary accounts. I have not seen John referred to as son of the Indian Trader.
  7. John owned land in Bedford County according to will.
  8. The fact Susannah remarried and her married name was McMullin is from her husband John's will documents.
  9. Susannah's death date of 1790 comes from her Washington County, PA will.

Sources for John Owens Sr.

  1. The first record for him I've found is as a witness to a treaty in 1752.
  2. He and his Indian wife also appear in a 1756 Pennsylvania Gazette article.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shopping using 1825 Family Inventory

Coffee Mill
Trundle Bed

Wondered if I could reproduce the household goods listed on James D. Owens March 1825 Inventory? I was able to find most of the objects referred to. I had no idea what a Trammel was until looking that up. You would attach your dutch oven to the trammel in your fireplace to cook. I had a vague idea of what a Trundle Bed was. The 1825 trundle bed was a small bed which could slide under a larger one; very handy in cramped living quarters. The Owens family lived on the Ohio River so they had both a boat and a scift or skiff. I guess someone in the family could read because they did have books. I wondered about the log chains. I noticed nearly everyone had those but I had no idea how they were used until now. Apparently they were wrapped around logs so you could move them? Some of the items I couldn't make out or identify. I think I would have been lost regarding some of the items, and would have to have some schooling on how to use them.

side saddle

Friday, September 14, 2012

Shifting Gears

Hannah Daughter of James D
and Francis may be key

It isn't easy to shift my gears and start focusing my research on a less familiar area. My autosomal Owens DNA match has renewed my interest in that family. My last Owens ancestor was Mary Owens who died in the early 20th Century. I have no contacts who still carry the name Owens, or any other cousin descendants not carrying the name who still living in the area. I've made many contacts on my Forgey side which have been extremely helpful. Some of these contacts still live in the family areas. I have learned so much about the layout of the land from these contacts which is helpful since I've never been to Indiana or Tennessee. I've never been to the Owens homelands either. I don't have any contacts in the area to help me with geography or family folklore. I've had to completely rely on records I could find online, or copies of documents through correspondence with local agencies, and of course FHC microfilms.
The question I am trying to answer is who are James D. Owens parents? He was born between 1775 and 1780 in Pennsylvania. Are they John and Hannah Owens of 10 Mile Creek PA?
There were two James Owens in Bracken County, KY who were about the same age, and either could be the son of John and Hannah.
Turtle Creek
The Legacy  5 C's for success in genealogy also spurred me to pursue more about this family. I am looking at everything I've collected and trying to find gaps that might be filled, and anything I may have missed. Barbara Renick emphasized the importance of mapping out where your family lived. Using the tax lists for the Owens families it looks like they all lived near the Ohio River in proximity to Turtle and Locust Creek. I overlayed maps of these two creeks. They are close to one another and not far from Augusta, Kentucky and Felicity in Clermont Ohio.
The 5 C's for success in genealogy webinar also emphasized the importance of extracting every clue you have. It's important to gather everything you've collected and analyse it, and put it to work to solve your problem. You really have to milk it for every clue. I have collected most of the traditional source documents. James D Owens died intestate and his wife was appointed administrator.  I wasn't  able glean James relationship to the other Owens families in the area using these documents. I also have tax lists for Bracken County which do not state relationships to the other Owens families either.
As Barbara Renick stated proximity of other families can point to a relationship. She pointed out that finding someone listed next to your family on the Census meant they most likely lived near to you ancestors. I found that James Owens was listed 3 pages from the nearest Owens family which was that of George Owens. So they weren't next door but likely not too far away. With a common name like Owens it's hard to make these differentiations.
Locust Creek where red pin is
I have not found the purchase deed for James D. Owens' property. It's possible that the deed was never recorded. I would like to find more deeds for the family. When his wife Francis died in 1869 the land probably changed hands. I have not looked for later sale deeds for the property. That should be my next project. More research in court records and newspapers may also produce some addtional info? I have not found an Obituary for Francis or daughter Hannah. It's possible Hannah may have a more detailed obit since she died in the early 20th Century? Following Hannah may produce more clues. According the the 1880 Census her father was born in Pennsylvania and her mother Maryland.

James D. Owens Bracken County, KY 1810

James D. Owens Bracken County, KY 1820

Francis Owens Bracken County, KY 1830

Francis Owens Bracken County, KY 1840

Francis Owens Bracken County, KY 1850
Francis Owens Bracken County, KY 1860

Hannah Hicks Daughter of James D. and Francis 1880 Census